Gallup Poll: 74 Percent of Americans Have Watched TV Quiz Show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire"Aired February 22, 2000 - 1:55 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Now a phenomenon that's united Americans like few others, a shared experience that informs, entertains and inspires.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: It's just brought us all together as one.
WATERS: Yes, it's a wonderful thing.
ALLEN: It's not a presidential campaign or a space mission or Olympic event, it is...
WATERS: What is it?
ALLEN: "Who Wants to be a Millionaire". The folks at Gallup had some questions of their own about the king of the quiz shows, and Frank Newport joins us now with their final answer.
FRANK NEWPORT, GALLUP POLL EDITOR IN CHIEF: That's very good. That was going to be my -- what I was going to say when I threw it back to you, so now I can't say it. You stole my line.
Indeed, this is really a cultural phenomenon, and that's why we went out to measure it, because that's our job, to find out what's on the minds of people. And we decided to look first at the host.
Now, the way we did this is what Gallup's been doing for many years. We said: Can you tell us the host of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire"? We didn't give the name. And sure enough, 66 percent of Americans spontaneously were able to say Regis Philbin. That's actually more than were able to name Jay Leno as host of "The Tonight Show." We don't have it up here. That's more than could name Bill Gates as the richest man in America, and I should say only six percent of Americans could name the speaker of the House of Representatives. So I'll leave that for you to tell us who that is when we come back.
Next, we looked at, Have who watched the show? And it is, indeed, a phenomenon: 74 percent of Americans say they have watched "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" And in today's fragmented TV environment, that's a huge number. What's interesting, it's 18 to 29- year-olds, but it really cuts across the whole age spectrum. Even 65- year-olds and older, two-thirds of those, as you can see here, say they've watched the show. Now, the burning question on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" is: Are those questions too easy? You've read that the insurer of the company said they don't want insure it anymore because they're giving away too much money because those questions are too easy. So we asked "Millionaire" views, what do you think? We don't have a real complaint: 73 percent say they're fine. Only 20 percent say they would like to have the questions harder than they are now.
So that's where we stand on top of what America's thinking, and we'll throw it back to you. That's our final poll of the afternoon. How's that?
ALLEN: There'll be more.
WATERS: And our final answer is Dennis Hastert is speaker of the House.
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